Prioritizing other commitments over your required dose of slumber, thinking you can catch up on sleep later? Think again. Sleep-deprivation is a long term condition of not having enough sleep, which in acute levels can further lead to various health hazards. Health issues may include high-stress levels, decreased metabolism, heart and kidney issues and a lack of general well-being. Medical experts have time and again the importance of an eight hour sleep, but the appeal seems to be falling on deaf ears, as a significant lot of the present generation is battling with sleep deprivation. And if the findings of a new study is to be believed, this deprivation could even cost them their lives!
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, reveals that, failing to sleep for less than six hours may nearly double the risk of death in people with metabolic syndrome - a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
The study further revealed that people with metabolic syndrome who slept for more than six hours were about 1.49 times more likely to die of stroke. In contrast, those not able to get six hours of sleep were about 2.1 times more likely to die of heart disease or stroke.
The short sleepers with metabolic syndrome were also 1.99 times more likely to die from any cause compared to those without metabolic syndrome.
The Lead author Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania said, "If you have several heart disease risk factors, taking care of your sleep and consulting with a clinician if you have insufficient sleep is important if you want to lower your risk of death from heart disease or stroke,"
As part of the study, researchers selected 1,344 adults (average age 49 years, 42 per cent male) who were made to spend one night in a sleep laboratory. On basis of the results the team concluded, that 39.2 per cent of the participants had at least three of the risk factors - body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 and elevated total cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and triglyceride levels. And during an average follow-up of 16.6 years, 22 per cent of the participants died.
On importance of future studies in the area, Fernandez-Mendoza said, "Future clinical trials are needed to determine whether lengthening sleep, in combination with lowering blood pressure and glucose, improves the prognosis of people with the metabolic syndrome."